September 12, 2016
This was not exactly a storm chase per se… but definitely an event worthy of an entry in the Storm Blog! Mike and I had arrived in the Serengeti the day prior and one of my first questions to our camp manager was are there some pretty good dust devils around here?; the answer had been occasionally, small ones. Well, we were sitting having our lunch (gin-and-tonics), enjoying the sunshine and overlooking a herd of zebras and wildebeests that were gathered around the watering hole when we noticed a commotion. Next thing we knew, a column of dust rose up over the herd, churned into a broad column, then developed a powerful tube at its central core as it rose over the animals.
This was by far the strongest and most visually impressive dust devil I have ever seen, and it was made more spectacular by its circumstance: plowing through a pack of grazers taking a break from their great migration! It hovered atop the herd briefly, and then swept off to the left over a field of grass where the circulation became less apparent, then dissipated. In amongst a slue of amazing moments and sights that we experienced in the Savannah, this was a particularly special one that I will never forget.